Food consumption among Americans have shown an unhealthy pattern over the years. With rising obesity levels, especially among the younger age group, health experts are concerned about the health of the American community. The food pyramids produced for public notification are often not comprehensible by the general public due to its complex language and terminology. MyPlate was introduced in 2011 keeping this in mind. Hopefully more accessible to the public, it had the objective of giving healthier choices for Americans.
Katherine Tucker, professor of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, talked about her perspectives on the same.
Tucker said that MyPlate was reached after discussions in various focus groups about the food habits and healthier options that can be provided. It had an interesting symbol of a dinner plate, something that she admitted did surprise her at first, but later got her liking. According to her, she felt that it needs to provide with more detailed information and further dietary guidelines from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for American Health. She believed that the plan would be able to bring about a healthy change in the society. MyPlate was designed in such a way that the images had significant meaning.
For example, the dairy section was in a circle to urge the reader to drink milk instead of eating cheese, which based on dairy recommendations, people in U.S. ate too much of.
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MyPlate, she hoped, would become the centrepiece of nutritional choices with schools adopting the same. Having an image made it easier for people to comprehend the information.
Further, farmers’ markets, food co-ops, cooperative farm shares, etc. are working together to make the project a successful one. Michelle Obama was the spokesperson for the cause. Restaurants are also hoped to be a part of this venture by bringing healthier options on their menus with an increased demand for healthy food by consumers.
N Malavika Mohan